‘Red’ alert issued for county finals
Posted: Tuesday, January 22, 2013 7:00 pm
Special to The Messenger
It was a night of champions for South Fulton Middle School as both the Red Devilettes and Devils won the Obion County School System Junior High Basketball Tournament on Monday night.
The No. 2 seed Lady Red Devils (12-6) beat No. 1 seed Lake Road (12-5) 27-20 in a game decided at the free throw line late over the final two minutes.
South Fulton head coach Curt Lee said his team earned this championship after all of the hard work the girls did during the season.
“I told them in the locker room that they had to put up with me and work hard all year long,” Lee said. “This is just for your work. You earned yourself the right for a chance to get a victory here. They came out and played hard and did it.”
The top seeded Red Devils (16-2) had to overcome some poor shooting in the first half, but their defense got the job done with a 50-22 win over second-seeded Hillcrest (8-6).
Head coach Wes Miller was glad his guys came out on top but was not very thrilled with the way they played as a team.
“I thought we played awful,” Miller said. “I told them if they play like that again, this was going to be the last game they win this year. When you get to district tournament time and you play Inman or Martin like that, you are going to get beat.
“I am glad for these boys. They worked really hard with the time they have spent in the gym. These kids really deserve this.”
Both SF teams will try to duplicate this tournament win in the Small School Area Tournament set to begin Thursday at South Fulton.
SF 27, LR 20 (G)
The Red Devilettes had to battle the Lady Generals down to the last two minutes of the game before they could start the celebration of their third consecutive county title.
Madison Brown hit a pair of free throws to give SF a 24-17 lead with 3:27 to play, but then a big 3-pointer by Bryleigh Jennings of LR cut the lead down to 24-20.
That was as close as SF would let the Lady Generals get. Emma Glisson hit a free throw, followed by a pair of free throws by Tiffany Potts with under two minutes to play to seal the win.
Both teams played a pressure defense throughout the game, which caused plenty of turnovers from both squads. Lake Road’s turnovers hurt them more than South Fulton’s turnovers.
“It most certainly did,” Lee said about Lake Road’s turnovers. “We got a couple of shots on them and got a little run going. They got a couple of shots, but they missed a few. We got some turnovers on them at the end to keep them from getting some shots off.”
The Lady Generals looked like they were going to run away with the game in the early going after Jennings hit two 3-pointers in just over a minute into the game. Two back-to-back shooting fouls by Lindsey Craddock allowed SF to cut the lead in half.
“I pulled Emma over to the bench after Jennings hit those threes and told that was why we put her on her,” Lee said. “I told her that she is supposed to guard her to keep her from doing that.”
Taylor Heathcock gave the Lady Generals a 10-7 lead on a pair of free throws, and then Diamond Smith tied up on a 3-pointer after a LR turnover to make it a 10-all game after one period.
Smith gave SF a 14-10 lead in the second period on a 3-point play after she hit a free throw. Rachel Dunn of LR cut the lead to two with 3.9 seconds to play in the half when she hit the front end of a pair of free throw attempts.
Dharma Grinder got the Lady Generals to within one point on a pair of free throws in the third period before Olivia Pope ended the period on a basket to give SF a three-point lead.
Smith led SF with 11 points for the game-high. Glisson and Brown scored five points each while Pope scored three followed by McCade Sisson and Potts with two points each.
Jennings led LR with 10 points followed by Craddock with four. Jenna Smith and Heathcock scored two each with Grinder and Dunn putting one point on the scoreboard.
SF 50, Hillcrest 22 (B)
The Red Devils got their offense going in the second period after a first frame in which they had plenty of scoring opportunities but missed several easy layups.
The Cougars turned the ball over nine times in the first period, but the Red Devils failed to capitalize on the Hillcrest mistakes. South Fulton’s Kody Davidson gave the Red Devils an 8-4 first period lead on a 3-pointer after a turnover.
“I thought we gave them fits with the turnovers,” Miller said. “We came out with some intensity, and that helped us on defense. I think our hard work on defense is paying off for us.”
The Red Devils were finally able to make some of those easy layups in the second period and went on scoring runs of seven and six points to take command of the game. Jyriq Jones scored five points, including a 3-pointer in the seven point run and Davidson scored four points in the six point run.
Both Davidson and Jones scored 12 points in the game to share the game-high in points.
Hayden Kelly scored seven points for SF and Zaccius Mays scored six points and five rebounds. Demarco Walker scored five points and eight rebounds. Brandon Walker had five rebounds and four points. Jalem Scott also scored four points for SF.
Walton led Hillcrest with seven points followed by Greg Nance with six.
Published in The Messenger 1.22.13